By Chris Langrill
The Idaho Statesman
Two of the more prominent players in Idaho Steelheads history are playing in the 2009 ECHL Kelly Cup Finals, which begin Friday.
But forwards Scott Burt and Lance Galbraith won’t be in Steelheads uniforms – they are now members of the Alaska Aces, who will play the South Carolina Stingrays in the seven-game series that will determine the league championship.
“There are probably a lot of people in Boise who are shaking their heads that we’re still playing,” Burt said.
He and Galbraith won Kelly Cup titles with Idaho in 2004 and 2007. If they win four more games, they will be the only players with their name on the Cup three times.
Burt, who has played in more Steelheads games than any other player, joined the Aces as team captain after one season with the Utah Grizzlies. He tallied 38 points and 129 penalty minutes in 65 regular season games, and has added six points and 25 penalty minutes in 14 postseason games.
The Aces finished one point ahead of the Steelheads to nail down the top seed in the National Conference. And while Idaho was swept out of the postseason in its first series, the Aces have steamrolled through the postseason, putting up a 12-2 playoff record.
They have knocked off Utah, Victoria and Las Vegas along the way.
“You know what, I’m not saying it’s been an easy go-round, but we have a pretty solid team here, and guys have responded,” Burt said.
And one of those players who has responded is Galbraith, who was a teammate of Burt’s for three seasons in Idaho.
Galbraith, who ranks No. 1 in all-time penalty minutes in Steelheads history, joined the Aces in midseason after discovering that he wasn’t a good fit with the Texas Brahmas of the CHL.
“It didn’t work out,” Galbraith said. “A lot of things in life aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.”
So after 10 games with Texas he began a search for a new team.
“Boise was a great place to play,” he said. “But I knew they had their veterans, so I had to look around.”
Galbraith notched 36 points and 143 penalty minutes in 46 regular-season games, and has 10 points and 31 penalty minutes in 14 postseason games.
“I’m the happiest guy that this worked out,” Galbraith said. “I’m playing with Scott Burt again and it seems like we’re having some success. But we’re not done yet.”
Burt said the idea of finishing off the season with another Kelly Cup is almost too good to be true.
“It would be very special for both of us after we left what we love there in Boise and win somewhere else,” he said.